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5 Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes you need inspiration and it is nowhere to be found. On those days, the savvy mompreneur just has to look a little harder. Here are five sources of inspiration that can help you get back on track when you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut.

Your Network.

The people in your network may be aware of opportunities that you’ve never even considered. When you’re talking to your contacts, always keep both your ears and your mind open. Get out and meet up with some fellow women and entrepreneurs in your network, it will lift your spirits!

Other Entrepreneurs’ Stories.

Only another entrepreneur can truly appreciate the challenges and triumphs of starting your own business. When you hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome tough obstacles and built a successful business, it makes you wonder what you might be able to accomplish if you put your mind to it. You can read up on fellow Mompreneur member Success Stories right here on our blog!

Your Customers.

The success of your business will always depend on how well you understand your customers. Take some time to talk to them and get to know them – send out a survey, post a poll on Facebook, or record a Facebook Live video to interact directly! They will likely be able to provide you with a perspective that will help you make improvements to your business.

Your Children.

Nothing is as inspiring as envisioning your child’s little face looking up at you, no matter how much older they now are from that moment in time. Hold on to that image and bring it out on the days when you need to climb a little higher. It will remind you of how much you’ve accomplished as a parent, and how far you’ve come from those early days in your entrepreneurial journey.

 

Featured image via shutterstock.com

 

 

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Sofia Sayani – Executive Hotels & Resorts

Sofia Sayani is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the Director of Marketing & Operations for her family business, Executive Hotels & Resorts, a chain of boutique 4-star hotels spanning across North America in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Washington, California, and New York. We are excited to share Sofia’s story!

mompreneur Sofia Sayani marketing director for Executive Hotels and Resorts - Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Washington, California


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My parents started the Executive Hotel chain in 1986 – they opened their first hotel just before Expo 86 and expanded the hotel chain from there. I grew up learning that nothing happens in your life unless you make it happen – and that you are the key to your own success. Based on these principals, I knew I wanted to run my own business and be in control of my own destiny.

Entrepreneurship is about seeing opportunities and having the faith in yourself to jump in and do it.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
For me, it’s the satisfaction of creating and providing something relevant and valued. To open a Hotel (pub/lounge/restaurant) from zero and build it into something other people value and appreciate is rewarding: as is creating a place they want to be at. I love having a creative outlet where I can build something beautiful – a place where Design, Style, Tastes and Trends converge and develop. I also enjoy working with and inspiring a team of people and I get excited over the synergy when the whole team is working towards the same goal.

Apart from managing the Hotel I have a real estate investment company and my husband and I renovate and flip condominiums in the city. Vancouver is a beautiful and desirable city to live in with lots of condos looking for a fix up. I do the design and style, and he does the hard work!

Continue reading Sofia Sayani – Executive Hotels & Resorts

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Minerva Maharajh – Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching

Minerva Maharajh is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Toronto, Ontario. She is a certified Life & Spiritual Coach, Reiki Practitioner, and owner of Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching. We are excited to share Minerva’s Success Story!

mompreneur Minerva Maharajh of Goddess of Wisdom


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I decided to become an entrepreneur to create more opportunities for myself and to offer something special to the world. I was in a job and totally different career path that was unfulfilling and making me unhappy, so I decided to quit and go on a soul-searching journey to figure out once and for all what I am meant to do in life. I wanted to find what my gifts, talents and passions were so I could use them to help others, make an impact, and wake up loving what I do – and I found it through Spiritual Life Coaching!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part about owning my business is how much it challenges me to grow and become better. The more I grow, the more my business grows. The more I grow, the more I have to offer to my clients and to the world. It’s a really cool process and it also makes you face your lower self, your deepest worries, fears, limiting habits and beliefs; and should you choose to face it, on the other side of the challenge is a greater and better version of who you thought you were. I feel like my business is an expression of who I am – where I get to share the deepest, realest and most important parts of me in order to help others overcome their own struggles, deepest pains and achieve success. Nothing brings me more joy!

mompreneur Minerva Maharajh of Goddess of Wisdom spiritual life coaching

Continue reading Minerva Maharajh – Goddess of Wisdom Spiritual Life Coaching

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Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

Sometimes business demands can over-run your schedule, no matter how diligent you are with creating a killer time map. So what is a busy mompreneur to do? Outsource!

when is it time to outsource?

Simply put, but not so easily done for those of us who like to be in control of every aspect of our businesses.  It really boils down to three questions:

1.   Where is my time better served?  

Are you better at selling than the mundane task of bookkeeping and paperwork?  Or are you internet savvy enough to rock your social media world and website, but not so good at the selling? Figure out what you are best at and do it well. Then hire someone else to take on and master the things that aren’t at the top of your ‘love to do’ list. Continue reading Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

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Monique Parker – Wallis Evera

Monique Parker is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, BC. She is the founder of Wallis Evera, a Vancouver-based ethical fashion company that designs and locally manufactures modern women’s workwear using the world’s most eco-friendly fiber – hemp. Wallis Evera products are sleek and stylish, made in Canada, tailored eco-chic. The company was founded specifically to support the Fashion Revolution – a growing, global movement to stop the social and environmental damage being caused by fast fashion. With core values of sustainability, simplicity and individuality, as well as a focus on ethical, eco-friendly and local production, Wallis Evera has earned recent mentions in such media outlets as The Good Trade, Ecouterre, Flare, The Huffington Post and Magnifeco. We are thrilled to share Monique’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Becoming a mom was really the spark that ignited the fire for me in terms of wanting to actively create the kind of world I wanted to live in. Prior to motherhood, I was a fast fashion shopaholic. I only really became aware of “Organic Cotton” when I started shopping for bedding and clothing for my new baby girl. Only then did I start paying attention to fabric content, chemical additives and where things were made when it came to choosing what would be touching my daughter’s beautiful, newborn skin. Of course, I wanted only the very best for her! It took a few years, but gradually I started looking at my own closet and began examining what I was choosing to put on my skin, too.

When I returned to work after being home with my kids for 5 years, I found it very difficult to find work clothes that were aligned with my aesthetic, values, and pocketbook. I was also really longing to find a way to work from home, doing something that I loved and believed in. I saw that there was a gap in the sustainable fashion market for really great and accessible workwear, so I jumped in.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
The average modern woman’s wardrobe is about as disposable as a box of Kleenex, and that’s not OK. There is a very unglamorous side of today’s fast fashion industry  – an overabundance of “cheap and cheerful” products are the result of cheap and/or unethical materials, processes and labour practices, which are having a disastrous social, economic and environmental impact. My mission is to help move eco-fashion from the fringe into the center of mainstream clothing consumption. I want to make sustainable fashion accessible so that everyone can look great and feel great about the clothes they wear every day.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love the challenge and responsibility of creating something tangible, useful and beautiful from just an idea in my head. I’ve created a business that I’m excited to get up for every morning, because Wallis Evera is all about transformation – it’s our reason for being; it’s what we do; it’s what we love. Globally, we’re working to transform the environment, fashion industry and society. Socially, there is a transformative power to clothing – what we wear affects how we feel and how we’re viewed. It’s an honour to be able to create clothes that women can put on and feel beautiful, powerful, and able to do anything in the world. On an individual level, this journey into entrepreneurship in sustainable fashion has certainly been one of personal transformation. Every day, I’m growing and learning something new. It’s extremely exciting.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

Can you describe a typical day?
My mornings are spent with my two kids. My son is an early riser, so we usually have time for artwork or a puzzle together before breakfast. Once I’ve dropped my kids to school, I’ll go for a run on the beach or go to a yoga class, write in my journal, then begin my workday. Fulfilling customer orders are my first priority. If there’s time in the day after that, it’s spent on planning for the next season – designs, sourcing of materials, crunching the numbers for production and sales. My official workday ends at 4:00pm, when I get my kids from after school care. Unofficially, my workday starts up again once my kids are asleep and I’ll keep going until midnight.

Mompreneur Monique Parker of Wallis Evera ethical hemp clothing in Vancouver

Who do you count on for help?
I have interns and a number of contractors that I work with to help with the manufacturing, marketing, market research, social media, and photography/videography aspects of my business. I also have several mentors that I meet with at least monthly, to help keep me grounded and keep my business moving forward. At home, I’m lucky to be able to count on my other mom friends for carpooling and play dates when I need the extra time for work. Also, I’ve recently discovered online grocery shopping – what a great help that is!

Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Yes, I usually sacrifice sleep for both!

What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
My days off from work are spent with my kids, ideally at the beach, but sometimes we just like to stay home and bake, watch movies and play board games. My days off from my kids are spent working!

What does the future look like for you and your business?
My business is still a start-up and we are growing our team each month. As an online company, our customer base is international, so one of our future goals is to expand our manufacturing operations to the USA, Europe and Japan. We would like to be local, wherever local is for our customers.

Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
You don’t need to know all the answers before you start. Done is better than perfect. If it’s important to you, you will find a way… if it’s not, you will find an excuse. Every minute counts. Schedule activities to “fill your bucket” every single day.

 

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Keep Them Coming Back to Your Website

keep customers coming back to your website shutterstock

Although more women are power players in the business world today, the online community is still an area yet to be conquered by women. 1&1 Internet Inc., the world’s largest web host, reports that only 13% of web hosting customers are female. With over 650,000 customers in North America, the statistic shows that men have a significantly larger presence online. Now that the Internet is becoming an essential element in many businesses, it is especially important for female entrepreneurs to keep apace by establishing a successful online presence.

Companies are constantly working to retain customers and encourage loyalty in order to keep their doors open. Customer loyalty is especially crucial to the survival of online businesses.  Impatient buyers have more and more competitors to choose from, and will quickly leave a site if they cannot communicate their questions or concerns in real-time.

In fact, according to the ‘Web site Communication Survey’ of some 1,025 North American consumers conducted by Toronto-based MaCorr Research and commissioned by 1&1 Internet, the ability to contact a business is the most important aspect of using a business’ web site for 85% of North Americans. Continue reading Keep Them Coming Back to Your Website

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Rachel Trudel – Anew Graphics

Rachel Trudel is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of the Guelph & Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ontario. As the founder of Anew Graphics, Rachel brings knowledge and creative insight to every graphic design project she works on, from custom logo design, company branding, print design and marketing to custom graphics for websites, and she is dedicated to providing you with imaginative and cost-effective solutions for your design needs. We are excited to share Rachel’s Success Story!

mompreneur Rachel Trudel of Anew Graphics


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
In late September of 2016, my boss came into my office and ‘out of the blue’ told me that I ws being laid off. In those few moments, my secure little world collapsed and I wondered how I would pay the bills, what I was going to do about benefits, and how I was going to provide for my family. Being a graphic designer, I had often done ‘little jobs on the side’ for friends and family such as party invitations, special posters and greeting cards, but I never thought that I could be my own boss. I was always more of a “give me the job and I will get it done” kind of person, but now that I am an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that I go out and find the work. It has been challenging to get my head around this total change, but also rewarding at the same time. I have learned so much about myself and I am still discovering new strengths and talents I didn’t know I had!

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I make my own schedule. I get to take my son to school every day and if I need to take a day off because he is sick or there is a field trip I can. Being there for my family is so important to me. It’s a bonus that I can still do what I love every day and in the process meet others in business, one-on-one, and get to know my community.

Can you describe a typical day?
After I take my son to school, I sit down with my tea and catch up on my emails and plan a schedule. Each day is different; one day I am working on a client’s website or creating a new brand, and then the next day I am photo editing. My aim is to set aside time from dinnertime to bedtime to devote to my family, and when all is quiet again, I check in with my business to get a head start on what tomorrow’s agenda might look like.   Continue reading Rachel Trudel – Anew Graphics

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How to Have a Nice Day

tips from mompreneur Heba Ahmed Malki tips from SendOutCards on making others days better

We all like surprises, and kind gestures can make all the difference in whether you or someone you know has a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. Whether it is an unexpected gift or getting an extra carton of fries in your bag at the drive-thru window, a surprise just makes you feel better.

Elite+ Mompreneur member Heba Ahmed Malki, Marketing Distributor with SendOutCards, suggests challenging yourself on a daily basis to spring a nice surprise on someone else. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some great ways to make someone’s day:

  • Let someone out in traffic during rush hour.
  • Let the person behind you at the checkout stand go before you, no matter how big their order is.
  • Visit a nursing home and spend time with those who have no family.
  • Pay for the meal of the person behind you at lunch.
  • Leave some sweet treats with inspirational messages on the break-room table at work.
  • Volunteer at the local elementary school.
  • Give an encouraging smile to a random stranger.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in the school pick-up line, and SMILE while doing so!
  • Wave at strangers that you pass on the road.
  • Buy an extra box of candy at the movie theatre and offer it to the family next to you.
  • Mow your neighbour’s lawn.
  • Leave an encouraging note on someone’s windshield.

Continue reading How to Have a Nice Day

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Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

Susan Eliuk is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. With Travel Agents in Action, Susan and her husband Rob are Group Cruise, Destination, and Dream Vacation Specialists. We are excited to share Susan’s Success Story!

mompreneur Susan Eliuk with Travel Agents in Action


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
The thought that I could present my ideas and accomplishments, and the freedom of setting up my own schedule so I can prioritize my family.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The fulfillments — you see your accomplishments and set your pace.

Can you describe a typical day? 
With my Travel days, I start with emails and responding to texts. Then I am always trying to finish a new Certification/Specialist course to enhance my knowledge so I am better informed for my clients. Most of all my goal is to enjoy my day!

Who do you count on for help?
I count on other team members within the Travel Agents In Action group. Their expertise and knowledge can always help you when you need advice or help in your business. We work towards all of us being successful. Continue reading Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

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Getting Clients to Pay on Time

Written by Andrea Henry

how to get paid - legal tips from mompreneur Andrea Henry

Let’s start off by admiting that as much as we love what we do, as small business owners, we do this to make money.

Let’s also admit that we have clients who have not really grasped this concept and who just don’t pay us on time — or at all.

How do you deal with it? As always, prevention is better than the cure. Here are my top three tips to getting paid on time.

Get it in writing.

Relying on verbal agreements and handshakes is for amateurs, and you my friend, are a professional with bills to pay. State your fees and payment terms in writing so that you avoid misunderstandings about payment expectations. Your written contract should also include, at a minimum:

  • a Scope of Work Clause which is a very clear, very specific description of exactly what you are going to provide to the client.
  • a Cancellation Clause which will tell your client if and when they can cancel and what, if anything, they will still owe you after cancellation.

Make it super convenient and easy to pay you.

In your intial meetings, ask the client what works best for them in terms of timing of invoices, credit terms and payment type. Instead of just accepting cash and cheque, consider accepting credit and debit cards, online payments, direct deposits and email transfers. Paypal, Square, Quickbooks and Freshbooks are just a few companies which allow you to send invoices that clients can pay with just a few clicks.  Continue reading Getting Clients to Pay on Time